TORONTO (AP) – Nikola Jokic acquired his second triple-double of the season to assist the injury-riddled Denver Nuggets overcome one other key absence.
Jokic capped an enormous evening with three free throws within the last seven seconds, Kyle Lowry missed a 3-pointer on the buzzer and the Nuggets survived the lack of main scorer Gary Harris to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-103 on Monday evening.
“To beat the primary staff within the East means quite a bit to us,” Jokic mentioned.
Jokic made it 104-103 with a free throw with 7.zero seconds left, then hit two extra foul photographs with 5.6 seconds remaining earlier than Lowry bounced a 26-footer off the rim.
Jokic had 23 factors, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 21 factors, and Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez every scored 15 factors for Denver. The Nuggets gained their sixth straight and halted Toronto’s profitable streak at eight.
“He does every part,” Murray mentioned of Jokic. “He passes, rebounds, handles the ball. There’s nothing he actually can’t do, besides bounce.”
Raptors coach Nick Nurse mentioned he doesn’t see a lot lacking from Jokic’s toolbox.
“I used to be type of hoping we’d be capable of disrupt him with somewhat bit extra stress,” Nurse mentioned. “He simply appeared to deal with it. We labored arduous on him, we tried to place him beneath some duress with the ball however it simply didn’t faze him.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 factors, Serge Ibaka had 15 and Pascal Siakam 14 for the Raptors.
Harris scored three factors within the opening quarter however didn’t play after the primary due to a sore proper hip. He got here in averaging a team-high 17.Three factors per recreation. Harris is predicted to endure an MRI on Tuesday earlier than the Nuggets depart Toronto for Orlando, the place they play Wednesday.
“Hopefully we are able to get him again actually quickly,” coach Michael Malone mentioned. “Gary is such an enormous a part of what we’re making an attempt to do, large loss.”
Lowry returned after sitting out Saturday’s loss at Cleveland due to an unspecified again harm, the primary recreation he’d missed this season. He shot 1 for 7, lacking 5 of 6 from 3-point vary. Lowry left with out talking to reporters. Leonard was additionally unavailable as a result of he was understanding.
Toronto shot 11 for 41 from outdoors the arc.
“They needed to win greater than we did,” Siakam mentioned. “We didn’t carry the vitality we often have.”
The sport pitted Leonard, the Japanese Convention participant of the week, towards Denver’s Paul Millsap, the Western Convention award winner.
“A win is a win, it doesn’t matter who it’s towards, however it does imply somewhat bit extra to win towards a high staff just like the Raptors,” Millsap mentioned.
The Nuggets led 86-78 to start the fourth, however Toronto tied it at 94 on Ibaka’s dunk at 4:41.
Ibaka made a pair of free throws and Leonard drained a bounce shot with 54 seconds left to place Toronto up 101-100, its first lead of the second half.
Jokic restored Denver’s lead with 40 seconds remaining earlier than Danny Inexperienced missed twice on the different finish. Hernangomez was fouled grabbing the rebound on Inexperienced’s second miss and made considered one of two from the free-throw line, however Leonard answered with a jumper, tying it 103-all with seven seconds left.
Nuggets: Jokic had seven assists within the first. His profession excessive is 17, set Feb 15, 2018 at Milwaukee. … Jokic has 18 profession triple-doubles. … Denver is 5-2 in video games determined by three or fewer factors.
Raptors: Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Month for October and November. He’s the fourth coach in Raptors historical past to win the award, becoming a member of Dwane Casey, Sam Mitchell and Lenny Wilkens. … The final rookie coach to win the award was Luke Walton, who did in order interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors in November 2015. … The Raptors shot 1 for 10 from 3-point vary within the second. … Lowry had 11 assists.
Denver can also be with out long-term absentees G Will Barton (core muscle surgical procedure), F Michael Porter Jr. (again surgical procedure), G Isaiah Thomas (proper hip surgical procedure) and F Jarred Vanderbilt (proper foot surgical procedure).
SECOND CHANCE SPREAD
Denver outscored the Raptors 23-2 on second-chance factors and had 15 offensive rebounds to Toronto’s seven.
“It’s powerful,” Nurse mentioned. “They’re a superb offensive rebounding staff and so they have been chasing them down.”
Nuggets: Go to Orlando on Wednesday evening.
Raptors: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday evening.
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